What We Didn’t Report: Really Late Edition

Things got derailed a bit and we are JUST NOW posting last week’s news that we didn’t report. Not only are we giving you OLD news, but old news with an edge! Okay maybe not, but we’re trying to make up for it. Anyway, it’s the second week and this is our HUEG Gundam edition of “What We Didn’t Report.” This week, we second-handedly report a Gundam, a fake protest, a seiyuu making music history, and Jimmy Fallon losing his shiz on national TV.

EA’s Fake Christian Protest Drew Ire From Real Christians

Source: Los Angeles Times

EA needs to research harder.
EA needs to research harder.

EA has publicly admitted that the protest against the upcoming Dante’s Inferno video game was indeed fake. This isn’t the first time EA has pulled a PR faux pas before. Because of this stunt, some Christians didn’t find this amusing at all; Margaret Cabaniss of InsideCatholic ironically wrote, “It’s been clear for a while now that the entertainment industry views Christians on the whole as priggish, thin-skinned fun-killers.” Uh, isn’t complaining about some childish PR stunt makes you priggish and thin-skinned?! Anyway, at least other Christians like blogger Andy Kirchoff of Catholic Video Gamers, have a more creative way of making EA’s marketing department look like fools: “Instead of engaging in a shamelessly anti-Christian stunt to promote your poor excuse of a product, maybe you ought to work on making this game, you know, something better than a blatant God of War rip-off and make it, ya know, something worthwhile?” LOLZ! Got pwned by a bible-thumper!

Jimmy Fallon is Cuckoo for Natal

Source: Hulu.com

The deal is that people are skeptical about Microsoft’s so-called revolutionary motion sensing peripheral, Project Natal. So, how do you dispel the skepticism? Why, by doing a live demonstration on live television of course! See for yourself! (Note: fast forward near the end of the episode to see Natal in action.)

After watching the video, are you now convinced? Still no? What is it then? Is it because of the red jumpsuits? The large rectangle on the floor? The inconsistent controls of the driving game?

Although I’m not gushing over Project Natal, I really think this could be the future of interactive entertainment, and not necessarily hardcore games.

First Seiyuu to Hit #1 in Charts

Source: Canned Dogs

It’s official, Mizuki Nana is the first ever voice actress to ever reach the top of the weekly Oricon charts, the Japanese equivalent to the Billboard 100. Not one voice actor until now has reached #1 since the Oricon charts began four decades ago. Though it is quite an historic achievement, Mizuki Nana’s album may have benefitted from sagging CD sales of mainstream artists and the power of the otaku yen (or credit). Either way, nothing much to say, except to congratulate Mizuki Nana for this achievement.

The HUEG Gundam is Finally Alive

Source: Pink Tentacle

Rounding off last week’s news, we bring you the 1:1 Gundam in Odaiba… again. So what’s different this time? Well, it seems that the Gundam is not just for display. See for yourself!

Wau! It lights up and it moves! We're doomed!
Wau! It lights up and it moves! We're doomed!

Well that’s about it for this last week’s news that we didn’t report. Be sure to come back in a few hours to see what we didn’t report for this week. Also, please listen to the Unwound show at Japan-A-Radio, this Sunday night at 5pm Pacific.

What We Didn’t Report: Week of June 1

A few years ago, when the Unwound show was broadcasting live, we used to (second-handedly) report and discuss the latest anime news. These days, even though we don’t have the opportunity to talk about the latest news on the air, we’d still like to talk about it. So starting today, every week we’re writing a feature on the stuff we didn’t write or report, but would like to talk about, to decipher and lambast. Here is this week’s news we didn’t report:

Obama’s Biography, in Manga Form

Source: Anime News Network

The Obama Story
The Obama Story cover. I got nothing sarcastic about Obama.

File this one under “cool but odd.” According to ANN, Dasan Books, a South Korean publication, has shipped a manga (or manhwa) about the life of our 44th president. The manhwa is a first in a series of books the publication will release for the next 18 months. Future manhwa biographies include Charles Darwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey and many others. (I guess Winfrey is a hero for being a smart businessperson.) I don’t know if Obama will get a cut in the profits, but I guess this isn’t as bad as the Obama coins and plates that are being peddled on late night television.

Lucky Star in My Pants!

Source: Anime News Network & Sankaku Complex

feature_news_090601_luckypants
You can be lucky too with Konata in your underpants!

The Lucky Star merchandising has now hit an all time low. You can now buy Lucky Star underpants in four different flavors: Konata, Akira Kogami, Konata’s :3 face and the cheerleader skirt. Apparently, the usual figures, videos and even body pillows no longer satisfy the hunger otakus have for Lucky Star. These underpants will certainly go well with the printed sailor uniform T-shirt. Speaking of pants, this is a good opportunity to relive that famous Lonely Island music video.

The Rise and Inevitable Fall of Gonzo

Source: Anime News Network

I’m calling it, Gonzo might not survive any longer. Despite increasing revenues, Gonzo still lost more money due to high operating costs compared to last year. Gonzo blamed the diminishing DVD market and the uncertain number of actual sales in the North American market. Personally, I blame Gonzo for trying to grow too fast by producing more mediocre anime titles (e.g. Final Fantasy Unlimited) than good titles (e.g. Welcome to the NHK) year after year since Gatekeepers.

Microsoft’s HAL 9000

Source: Kotaku

When it red rings, it becomes HAL 9000. (Oh ho, I made an RROD funney, I are teh edgey!)
When it red rings, it becomes HAL 9000. (Oh ho, I made an RROD funney, I are teh edgey!)

Technically, we did report (through a live Internet video feed of) Microsoft’s groundbreaking Project Natal during their E3 press conference. What we couldn’t report is how well the prototype actually work. The dudes at Kotaku are fairly impressed with how well Natal understands human gestures – from kicking a ball to handling a steering wheel, Natal seems like the future of button-free waggle controls. I expect the Japanese adult video game makers (and Idolmaster devs) to create a panchira-based video game using Natal in the future.

Evangelion is Still the King of Merchandise

Source: Anime News Network

Is this thing really worth $900?
Is this thing really worth $900?

Taking this blog post on merchandise-related news full circle, we finally present you the newly released Sharp SH-06A NERV cellphone, which is sold out in Japan. With a limited production run, 20,000 pre-orders of the Eva-branded $900 cellphone were sold in only 5 hours. Otakus who missed out on the pre-order can still acquire the phone when the remaining 10,000 will be in electronic stores at the end of the month. I don’t know much about the capabilities of the phone, except for the 10-megapixel camera, but $900 for a cellphone is highway robbery. Maybe Apple should rethink of adding an anime tie-in to their iPhone if they want to compete in Japan.

That’s it for the debut edition of this new feature. We’ll bring you more second-hand news next Friday. Until then, have a safe and shmexy weekend!

Four Days of E3: Microsoft Press Con

Unsurprisingly, a lot of surprising stuff was announced at the Microsoft E3 Press Conference today. Some are the tried and true franchise we come to know and love, and some are on an extremely fine line of genius and insanity. Here is my post game analysis for the Microsoft E3 Press Conference, in conveniently laid-out bullet points!

Moar Sequels!

The titles announced at the MS presser aren’t really surprising. They’ve shown Beatles: Rock Band, Tony Hawk Ride and Modern Warfare 2 early on, and they all look fantastic. However, I still have my doubts on Tony Hawk Ride and its skateboard peripheral, especially since MS has revealed a revolutionary peripheral of their own, which will be discussed later. There are more sequels later on, in the “Exclusive Games” section.

Final Fantasy XIII Gameplay on the 360

feature_e3_ff13
I may have to rethink buying a PS3 for FFXIII.

A lot of gamers doubt how well Final Fantasy XIII will look on the 360. Personally, I thought that the FFXIII might choke constantly, kind of like Squeenix’s The Last Remnant. So far, it looks just like its PS3 counterpart. The FFXIII devs said the game will release in Spring 2010. What’s surprising about this demo was how short the FFXIII devs stayed on stage. I think they were there for 4, perhaps 5 minutes tops.

Exclusive Games

After last year’s impressive lineup of games for the 360, gamers are starting to wonder, what’s left in store for the oldest current gen console for 2009. Well, it looks like MS will do just fine. They’ve announced games that will be released in the next 12 months, with Shadow Complex, Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Forza Motorsport 3 and two titles we haven’t seen in a while, much less demoed — Splinter Cell: Conviction and Alan Wake. Alan Wake reminds me of a cross between Resident Evil 5 and Fatal Frame (and Silent Hill as Joe mentioned to me on chat), presumably without the convoluted Japanese style survival horror gameplay.

Halo, Halo, and Moar Halo

Okay actually there are only 2 Halo announcements. One of them you already knew, Halo: ODST, while the other is the rumored Halo: Reach. Halo: ODST puts you into the perspective of a rookie soldier, set in the timeline before the events of Halo 3. Halo: Reach, according to Intarweb speculation, is presumably based on the events of one of the Halo novels, Halo: The Fall of Reach. I’m always excited for a new Halo game, though I admit, I still haven’t touched Halo 3 yet. LOLZ

I’m In Yer Xbawkz, Doin Sum Social Networking

feature_e3_twitterMS has announced that its Netflix integration has improved with the addition of actually queueing movies directly on your 360, which everyone feels should be a feature on day one! They’ve also announced the invasion of Last.fm, Facebook and Twitter on the 360. Basically it’s a way to tell your non-gamer and non-nerdy friends, how much of a nerd you are whenever you play your 360. Also, to increase your lameness, you can now post screenshots of your gaming achievements on your Facebook account! Sweet!

Metal Gear CONFIRMED! Wait, No Solid Snake?

After months, if not years of speculation of whether a Metal Gear game would jump in the Xbox 360, finally the joke has finally come true… sorta. Hideo Kojima made an appearance at the MS presser and announced Metal Gear Solid: Rising (the new tagline is “Lightning Bolt Action”, as opposed to “Tactical Espionage Action”), where you take the role of Raiden, also known as the poor man’s Snake. Okay that’s not really fair; I heard he was pretty cool in MGS4. Who knows? Maybe he’ll be more manly than his debut in MGS2. Release date is yet to be announced… of course.

Waggling is Apparently the Future of Gaming

Project Natal, Microsoft’s answer to Nintendo’s Wiimote and motion control, does look amazing. However, even though it’s forward thinking and seems to  improve a lot of the motion control problems that the Wii suffers when it comes to complex gestures and control, I think it’s a bit too late for Microsoft to jump in the bandwagon. It’s kinda like how the MP3 format is the defacto audio file format; sure it’s not quite as clear as an audio CD or the other file formats, but MP3s is more widely used and many audio and electronic devices recognize the format. Good luck in finding a reliable audio player that can play your FLAC files. Not to mention, brand recognition is also key. When you hear Nintendo, you know it’s going to be family friendly. Microsoft is not known to be a family friendly company for much of its history. Then again, the enthusiast press was floored after seeing the possibilities of this new peripheral. We will wait and see.

Final Verdict: 7 out of 10(TM)

I wrote way too much, so I’ll summarize this quick. Sequels are unsurprisingly amazing, details on new titles are murky at best, Project Natal might happen, but it might end up becoming like Microsoft Surface. The other dudes will have their own analysis of the Nintendo and Sony press conferences in the coming days. See ya then!